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IID to Take Decisive Action on Summer Bills, Prioritizing Community Concerns

-Editorial

In direct response to recent concerns about fluctuating summer electric bills, the Imperial Irrigation District Board will take action on a resolution at its Tuesday meeting aiming to overhaul its billing system to bring more predictability and affordability to its customers. Consideration of this resolution will take place at IID’s next regular meeting, to be held on September 5, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.

The current Energy Cost Adjustment factor (ECA), adopted in 2015, was initially designed to reflect the variable costs of energy, including the costs of fuel and power purchase. However, the events of summer 2023, which include unforeseen market volatility, record-breaking temperatures, unexpected unit outages, and transmission disruptions, have highlighted the limitations of the current ECA. These market fluctuations resulted in bills for some customers doubling from one month to the next.

“A power bill that doubles from one month to the next is an unacceptable hardship. Our commitment to the community is about more than about providing electricity; it’s about trust and ensuring that every family can understand their bill and afford it,” stated IID Board Vice President JB Hamby. “This resolution directs immediate steps to make things right for customers and stop spikes on monthly bills from happening again.”

Key highlights of the proposed resolution:

  • Acknowledging Customers’ Concerns: IID acknowledges the unintended impact that market volatility and the ECA structure have had on its customers.
  • Requiring a Comprehensive Action Plan: Within 60 days of adoption, the General Manager will be required to produce an action plan addressing concerns over the ECA and alternatives.
  • Shielding Ratepayers from Market Volatility: IID is dedicated to protecting its customers from unpredictable market shifts, ensuring that customers receive affordable, consistent electric bills.

The public’s voice is crucial to this endeavor. IID invites its community members to share their insights and feedback at the board vote this upcoming Tuesday.

IID Board President Alex Cardenas shared, “This resolution reinforces our unwavering commitment to serve and support our customers through thick and thin and make sure we are taking an active approach to solving this problem and ensuring an equitable billing system for all.”

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